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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We've reached our first major legislative deadline of the 105-day session. We've spent some time honoring veterans and passing veterans-related legislation. And I appreciated the opportunity to talk with many of you during my telephone town hall meeting last Thursday. Please read on for more details.

As always, your input is valuable and needed. Please contact my office with your questions, comments and suggestions. You'll find my contact information at the bottom of this e-mail update. Please do not hit “reply” to this report, as it will not reach me.

Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve you!

Honoring and supporting our veterans who served and sacrificed for us

More than 72,000 veterans live in Snohomish and Skagit counties. And more than 607,000 live across Washington state. Their service and sacrifice has given us and our families the ability to live and prosper in a free nation. We owe them a debt of gratitude. That's why we recently took time to honor them and our men and women of the Washington National Guard.

Several legislators in the House have served in the military, including Rep. Brad Klippert of Kennewick. During consideration of House Resolution 4609, honoring the Washington National Guard, Rep. Klippert gave a moving speech about the men and woman in the military who protect our nation and keep our citizens safe. I invite you to watch the video.

Veterans

In addition to the resolution, which passed unanimously, there are several important veterans-related bills advancing in the Legislature, including:

Celebrating Children's Day

Last Monday, during Presidents' Day, the House of Representatives took time to honor the children of Washington state through House Resolution 4621. Children were invited onto the House floor to join in the festivities. I invite you to watch the video of the event.

What is “cutoff” and why is it significant?KristiansenCommitteeParticipation

The Legislature has been in session since Jan. 14. During that time, bills that have been introduced have been referred to various committees. The chair of each committee decides whether a bill will receive a public hearing or not. Once a public hearing has been held, the chair can then schedule a measure for a committee vote in “executive session.” Bills voted out of committee (or as lawmakers say, “exec'd from committee”) are either sent to a fiscal committee for further consideration if they involve costs or revenue, or they are sent to the House Rules Committee. The Rules Committee determines which bills go to the floor for a vote.

This is the process that has continued over the last six weeks since the beginning of session. However, the Legislature has major deadlines, also known as “cutoffs.” We reached the first one on Friday, Feb. 22. That was the last day House policy committees could consider and vote on policy bills originating in the House. The Senate has the same cutoffs for Senate bills. Any policy bills that had not been voted out of their respective committees by 5 p.m. on Friday are considered “dead” for the session.

This helps to thin down the thousands of bills that have been introduced this session and to provide a focus on those that have survived the committee process.

We also have a second cutoff rapidly approaching this Friday, March 1, for fiscal bills (legislation involving money). Those bills need to be voted out of their respective fiscal committees by Friday, or they may also be dead for the session.

There are exceptions to this process. Bills necessary to implement the budget are exempt from the cutoffs.

Our focus now shifts from the committees to the House floor where we will be considering most of those bills that survived the cutoff.

Your input is vital, your silence is agreement!

As we begin to take critical votes on the House floor, now is the time you should be contacting your legislators to let us know how you feel on pending legislation. There's a saying in Olympia – “Silence is agreement.” In other words, if we don't hear from you, it's assumed you likely agree with the bills before us, even though you may not.

That's why I held a telephone town hall meeting with citizens from across the 39th District last Thursday. It was an opportunity for people to provide their input and ask questions. We had more than 600 people on the telephone line listening and participating in the teleforum.

Now it's your turn to give your input. Here are several ways to do it:

  • Call the toll-free legislative hotline and leave a message for your lawmakers: 1-800-562-6000
  • E-mail me through my Web site: houserepublicans.wa.gov/Kristiansen
  • Go to www.leg.wa.gov and search for the bill you wish to comment on. Then look for the button that says, “Comment on this bill.” Leave your comments and it will be forwarded to me.BillComment

This week in Olympia!

I encourage you to become involved in your state Legislature. Below is the schedule for public hearings in the House committees this week. If you'd like to learn more about how to testify in committee, go here. Click on the links below to get information about each bill. For your convenience, I have highlighted in yellow those bills and issues that are most significant to the 39th District.

TUESDAY, FEB. 26

Finance Committee – House Hearing Room A – 8 a.m.

  • Extending the Expiration Date for Solar Energy Systems Special B&O Manufacturing Rate – Public Hearing on House Bill 1912
  • Extending Hog Fuel Sales and Use Tax Exemption – Public Hearing on House Bill 1932
  • Tax Relief for New/High Growth Businesses – Public Hearing on House Bill 1693

Appropriations Committee – House Hearing Room A – 1:30 p.m.

  • Volunteer Firefighter and Reserve Officer Death Benefits – Public Hearing on House Bill 1180
  • Wrongful Conviction and Imprisonment Claims – Public Hearing on House Bill 1341
  • Community and Technical College Academic Employee Collective Bargaining – Public Hearing on House Bill 1348

Transportation Committee – House Hearing Room B – 3:30 p.m.

  • Eliminating Periodic License Plate Replacement – Public Hearing on House Bill 1387
  • Creating a Lifetime Trailer License Plate – Public Hearing on House Bill 1902
  • Prohibiting Ferry Vessel and Facility Design Changes Without Legislative Directive – Public Hearing on House Bill 1880

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 27

Transportation Committee – House Hearing Room B – 3:30 p.m.

  • Allowing Certain Residents to Avoid I-90 Tolls – Public Hearing on House Bill 1945
  • Allowing Toll Violators to Explain Mitigating Circumstances – Public Hearing on House Bill 1941

THURSDAY, FEB. 28

  • No agendas posted

FRIDAY, MARCH 1

  • Fiscal committee cutoff

 

Events at the State Capitol

We have many groups that visit the state Capitol during the legislative session and participate in events. Here's a look at public events planned this week.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 27
Home Educators' Day at the Capitol
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Sponsored by: Christian Homeschool Network
Legislative Building
Estimated attendance: 400

Minority Executive Director's Coalition Unity Day
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
General Administration Auditorium
Estimated attendance: 50

Disability advocate meeting
4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Sponsored by: National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Legislative Building – Columbia room
Estimated attendance: 20 PotatoDay

THURSDAY, FEB. 28
Purple Presence
12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Sponsored by: SEIU Healthcare 775 NW
Legislative Building – 4th Floor Mezzanine
Estimated attendance: 10

FRIDAY, MARCH 1
2013 LEAP (Latino/a Educational Achievement Project) Legislative Day
8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Sponsored by: Sea Mar Community Health Centers – LEAP program
Legislative Building
Estimated attendance: 500

Commission on Hispanic Affairs meeting with LEAP students
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sponsored by: Commission on Hispanic Affairs
General Administration Auditorium
Estimated attendance: 100

SATURDAY, MARCH 2
Homelessness and Hunger Awareness
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Sponsored by: The Evergreen State College/Washpirg
Legislative Building – North Steps
Estimated attendance: 200

If you'd like to see more events scheduled at the state Capitol, click here for more information. If you plan to visit, call my office in advance so that we can help you when you plan your schedule. The phone number is (360) 786-7967.

 

In your service,

Dan Kristiansen

State Representative Dan Kristiansen, 39th Legislative District
RepresentativeDanKristiansen.com
426A Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
dan.kristiansen@leg.wa.gov
360-786-7967 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000